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The view from the other side?!(3 posts)

The view from the other side?!MXL02
Jul 8, 2002 3:58 AM
I had a great 65 mile hill ride with my riding buds Sat. AM, and later that day, when I had that post ride AAAhhhhh feeling, was driving into the office to do some catch up work. I was stopped at red light listening to some tunes, when the light turned green and I started to mash on the accelerator, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw him...a guy on an ATB, no helmet, crossing the road against the light. I came within an inch of squashing him with my suburban. I hit the brakes, and as he passed in front of my car he smiled and waved meekly as I sat there shaking and stewing.
I instantly wanted to kill the guy, and my first instinctual thought was "F*&^%$ing cyclists!" I was surprised how quickly this thought came into my head, even though I am now an avid participant.

If I can generate this attitude so quickly, what must happen to the non-cycling public!!??? As has been stated before, we must all be ambassadors of the sport. The only way people will be able to know that guys like this idiot are the exception rather than the rule, is for the rest of us to ride defensively and obey all traffic laws. Thats it for my Monday AM rant, Thanks.
Jul 8, 2002 5:21 AM
I really know what you mean... however I tend not to generalize it by all cyclists.

There is this guy who appears to be training for a triathlon (650s, no shirt, short shorts, aerobars, etc...)who insists on riding on the LEFT side on the lane on this series of one-lane, one-way streets around a few lakes. Now, the traffic goes counter-clockwise, so riding on the left means that no traffic will ever cross him (because of the lake), but he acts like he is riding on a closed course, and he blows through every light and stop sign like they weren't even there. I mention this because I have watched him a few times, and generally traffic passes him carefully the first time, then as he blows by stopped traffic, the same vehicles seem to show their frustration by passing closer and closer to him.

On this same route, I came upon a "club ride" led by a total idiot. It was more like a critical mass ride where about a dozen riders were riding three or four abreast, blew through every stop sign, and were putzing around at maybe 17 mph. I couldn't even pass them on a bike, and it was embarassing to even be near them. These same bozos felt compelled to point out every nick and rut in the road with due caution, but they were oblivious to the fact that there were motorized vehicles on the road.

Part of my point is that one need not ride a wannabe ATB purcahsed at Target... there are plenty of scofflaws riding $4000 bikes dressed in full team kits (that's a whole separate topic)...

I wish that certain roads were set up like in Paris, along the Seine, where they are simply closed Sunday AMs to motorized traffic (there it is as much to reduce pollution and exhaust fumes for people out exercising). It would certainly promote awareness, and maybe even help develop a sense of community among cyclists, joggers, etc... it would certainly promote more good will than the Friday rush hour critical mass rides!

I completely agree with you that we should all lead by example. Unfortuately, judging by the "controversy" around here about such basic topics as "wearing headphones while riding," or "wearing helmets," it seems many people feel a narcissistic sense that their "skill" exempts them from even taking common sense measures to set a good example... or that there is an indignant sense of self-righteousness that supercedes what you or I might consider common sense.

Unfortunately, my line of defense is to assume and ride like every motorist on the road "hates cyclists"- to pick routes with low volumes of traffic, wide lanes or shoulders, where there may be plenty of witnesses available in the even of an altercation, that are known to be well traveled by cyclists, and to show deference to vehicles by following traffic laws, etc...
I know what you mean...biknben
Jul 8, 2002 8:31 AM
Unfortunately, the guys I wanted to yell at were in my group.

Three of us were cruising down a decent at about 30 MPH in a 40 MPH zone. I was at the back. The leader relaxes a bit too much on the decent and the guy in second postion is moving out of the paceline to catch some wind to slow down rather than using his brakes. He basically moved over about 2-3 feet, slowed, then moved back in line. He was repeating this every 10-15 seconds. I'm at the back noticing an SUV behind us and a line of car behind it and thinking "This isn't good". I say "car back" but they continue. The leader doesn't realize what's happening behind him and No. 2 is a little bit of a dope and isn't using his head.

We get to the bottom (1/2 mile later) where there is a light. The SUV never passed and the light was red. The leader slows, looks both ways and goes through the red. From the back I suggest he stop but by then he was in the intersection and continued. The other guy barely skipped a beat and went through.

I ran the red (feeling like a d!ck) and began to wonder how pissed all those cars were, stuck at the light. A few minutes later I explained to the guy who was at the front what had happening behind him. I doubt it will change anything but I let him know I didn't approve.

I my view, the easiest way to avoid road rage and aggressive drivers is to not piss them off.

In hindsite, I should've just waited at the light and said FU to my companions rather than the motorists.